Monday, June 2, 2014

Make a "Pin Hen"

In preparation for my very first ever giveaway tomorrow, for The Chicken Run, I wanted to share this tutorial for making "Pin Hens"...little chicken pincushions! So get your "cluck" on, here we go!
Instructions for a little log cabin pincushion.
 I begin my little log cabins with 2 centers, 1" square.
Pick 6 different "log" fabrics and use 1" strips of each.
For an improv block, any scraps will are looking for a 3 1/2" - 4" finished size.
Just trim with the addition of each "log". 
Don't fret too much about keeping them identical in size or square, because once it is a cushion, it will look just fine :) I just do my best as I go along.
 If you would rather paper piece your cabins, GrannyMaudsGirl has included foundation templates here!
 For the tail you will need 2 squares. 
 The larger square should be at least 3", no bigger than 3 1/2".  The smaller square 2 1/2" or smaller.  
Fold and press on the diagonal twice.
 Baste together close to the edge...inside your usual 1/4" allowance
 Using scraps of felt or even polar fleece, cut a little beak and a comb.  Just remember to include enough for the seam allowance.
 Sandwich between your 2 little blocks, right sides together.
Sew the top seam (A). Sew the front seam (B).  I like to back stitch at the end of each of these.
Turn right side out, press seams open a bit if you like.  
Center the tail point with the back seam, and stitch using a 1/4" seam allowance

 Turn inside out again, and stitch the bottom seam, backstitch at the end.
 Turn right side out and using the tail to help you, fold and press an approximate 1/4" around this opening for ease of stitching to close, once stuffed.
I have nipped the tail corners here, as you can see
Before you stuff your chicken, now is the time to give her eyes! 

I use a simple "french knot", with a couple strands of a variegated cotton yarn I have. Any perle cotton or embroidery thread would do wonderfully!
I include the process here, in case you, like me, don't know how to make a french knot :)
(Well, I do now!)
Knot your thread and run up the inside of the chicken, coming out where you want the eye.
 Take two wraps around your needle
 and poke the needle back through the original hole
 Make sure it comes out on the other side precisely where you want the other eye.
this looks a bit graphic, eh? :)
 Pull through
 Take another 2 wraps around the needle
 Poke needle back through original hole
 This time just pull through without coming out on the other side and cut thread inside.
If you are making this for yourself, you may now "feed" your chicken! 
 I use grits for mine. 
 However, be advised, if you are planning to giveaway your chicken overseas (Chicken Run Giveaway), use a non-foodstuff stuffing!
 Stitch closed...I hand stitch, because if I didn't I would spill grits all over my machine!!

I hope you are able to make sense of these instructions!
I have also made these using an hourglass block, made from 2  5" charms!
I am happy to clarify or answer any questions as best I can!

Have fun! 
But be warned...this may lead to a whole flock of Pin Hens, once you get started ;)


Miss Alissa said...

Those are so cute! I think I'll have to make one :)

Gina said...

such a fun use of a log cabin block!!! you have a cute, colorful collection... or should i say flock!

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic tutorial! I hope everyone will join in the giveaway you are hosting :-)

Anonymous said...

Officially "hooked".......or should I say "corralled", "roped" or "penned"!!!?? Your "tute" was awesome and I have bookmarked it for the not-to-distant future!! Hehe! Your 'flock' appears to be having a "hen party".....possibly 'hatching' some sort of plan???? LOL! Hugs.................

Anonymous said...

Brilliant tutorial. I'm just going off to have a go!

Unknown said...

LoveDove looks right at home. Your hens are incredible and have a real Spring flavor. Best of luck on the next leg of the Chicken Run.

Anne Rust said...

Finally got a few minutes to sit down and make one of these little cuties..smallest thing I've ever pieced but your instructions were clear and full of encouragement so I kept at it til I got the hang of it. There will be more at my sewing table, too.

Jacqueline Frances said...

these are sooo cute!
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I am new to blogging, would you like to follow my blog?
Jacqueline in Pitt Meadows